When my first child turned 2, I didn't know whether to call a therapist or an exorcist. My husband and I combed book after book searching for tips on how to get her to stop kicking the walls for two hours after bedtime or stop defecating in rage, and there was nothing. Nothing beyond, "Be firm and consistent." Thanks for nothing, parenting books.
Now that my second child is about to turn 2, I thought I would list some of the very important things I've learned about surviving this intense age of toddlerhood, before he kills me in my sleep.
1. Curl into a ball so that the 2-year-old cannot attack your vital organs.
2. Alternatively, you can stand up and wave your arms so you look bigger than you are in order to intimidate them.
3. You should learn how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. Because you never know with a 2-year-old.
4. In addition to using charts and rewards as incentives, bells, pepper spray, a knife, a snake stick and extra clothing can help you fend off attacks.
The moment they see weakness they will exploit it.
5. Love nothing. Feel nothing. Show no weakness. The moment they see weakness they will exploit it. Your expensive vase? Broken. Your nice couch? Destroyed in the marker incident that happened in the two seconds you decided to poop.
6. Never poop.
7. Arguing with a 2-year-old is like wiping a Sharpie. It's pointless, and ultimately ... why are you doing that?
8. Play dead.
9. Avoid eye contact. Eye contact is a sign of aggression.
10. If you do accidentally make eye contact, lower your head into a submissive gesture.
11. Wear protective clothing even while you sleep.
12. 2-year-olds want nothing to do with you ever, unless, hey! Are you pooping!?!? LET ME IN!!! I NEED TO BE NEAR YOU WHILE YOU DO THAT!!!!
13. Never poop.
So maybe licking the playground equipment or taking off their pants in the restaurant is not the hill you want to die on today.
14. Pick your battles. The moment you tell a 2-year-old not to do something, they will do it. And if you don't follow up with a consequence, they will know that you are weak and continue to walk all over you. So maybe licking the playground equipment or taking off their pants in the restaurant is not the hill you want to die on today. Or maybe it is, but just know, you will die on that hill.
15. The best way to upset your 2-year-old is to do exactly what they want. Doing the opposite of what they want is also terrible, never do that.
16. Do you have a panic room? If yes, proceed there for the next year. If not, may God have mercy on your soul.
17. If you hold really still, they won't be able to see you. Remain motionless for the next 12 months.
18. Nothing is childproof. Nothing is ever really safe. Accustom yourself to collateral damage.
19. Every morning, make a ritual sacrifice of fruit snacks to the gods of Elmo and Mickey Mouse. Pray that they will be benevolent and grant your child with naps and protect you from having to poop until your 2-year-old is safely in bed.
20. In order to anticipate what your 2-year-old child will do next, imagine what a sane person would do. Now, imagine the exact opposite, but in someone who is probably on meth. That is what your 2-year-old will do, except maybe a little crazier.